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What language skills do I need to become a foster carer?

Language is so important in fostering - it’s how we communicate with one another.

We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and countries to become foster carers in Bradford - diversity makes our city a better place to live in.

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What are the language requirements to become a foster carer?

Bradford Fostering foster carers should have a reasonable level of English (speaking, reading and writing) that will allow you to communicate with other professionals, support the children’s education and keep records.

If you are fostering with a partner, the person who will be the main carer must be able to communicate to the Level 3 English as a Second Language standard.

They will need to be confident speaking and be able to communicate (this includes taking telephone calls and speaking with professionals about your foster child’s care).

This is to ensure you can both communicate effectively with your social worker and your foster child(ren).

You will be part of a team of professionals around the foster child, so you will have to write notes and keep records about the child’s life and experiences in your care. You will also have to attend meetings with your child’s school and support their education; as well as meet with any medical or other professionals that may be involved in your child’s care and development.

If you are fluent in another language in addition to English, that’s great! We strive to place all our looked after children in environments where they feel comfortable, which may be with a foster carer who is fluent in a language other than English.

Fluency in other languages as well as English is wonderful, as it can make children in care feel more comfortable if they can converse in their home language.

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What if I don’t meet the language requirements to be a foster carer?

If you would like to foster but do not meet our language requirements, several local colleges and education providers offer English as a Second Language classes.

There are usually lots of ESOL classes and workshops where you can improve your English skills in the Bradford district.

Face-to-face classes are slowly restarting but some may not start until September. There are also online courses you can study for free.

Children are in care through no fault of their own. They deserve the opportunity to be part of a loving family. - Heidi and Frank

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Learn English from the comfort of your home

Many providers offer free online English lessons, which you can view in the comfort of your home. These include courses from the BBC and Memrise.

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ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) providers in Bradford District

Anchor Project

The Anchor Project offers free ESOL lessons for women on Fridays from 10am to 12pm. Contact Nick or Indi on 01274 743054 or email for more details.

BIASAN Beginners English Lessons

BIASAN offers beginners English lessons from 3.45pm to 6.30pm on Wednesdays and 3.45pm to 6pm on Thursdays at Bradford Deaf Centre, 25 Hallfield Road, Bradford BD1 3RP.

Contact Richard Hargreaves via email to learn more:

The Maryam Project

The Maryam Project offers free English classes for women on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1pm to 3pm at St Philip's Church, Washington Street, Girlington, BD8 9QW.

For more information, contact Tessa on 07961 233519.

The Millside Centre

The Millside Centre offers women-only English classes. These take place on Wednesdays from 10am to 11.30am at The Millside Centre, 131 Grattan Road, Bradford, BD1 2HS.

Contact Furaha to learn more: 07508 624059 /

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Are there any other requirements to become a foster carer?

Alongside the above language requirements, successful foster carers should have a positive, non-judgemental attitude and be empathetic to the feelings of others.

Many of our children have experienced traumatic situations in their lives, which you will need to adapt to and help them understand and live with their experiences.

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Bedroom requirements

For the safety and security of our children in care , all foster carers need to have a spare bedroom for each child they foster, though sometimes brothers or sisters can share if the bedroom is large enough and it is safe and appropriate for them to do so.

The room needs to be large enough to hold a single bed, a wardrobe and a desk or chest of drawers.

It’s important that children know that somebody wants them and loves them. - Gina and Pete

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Want to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster carer in Bradford, please download an information pack and rates sheet.

If you’re ready to start your fostering journey, book an information call back session with a member of our friendly team.

In this session, we’ll discuss the benefits of fostering and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Book your information call back here.

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